Walking the Bear by Nicola Davies

Walking the Bear

Written by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Annabel Wright
Part of the Heroes of the Wild Series

7+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Nicola Davies’s non-fiction stories are renowned for their skilful combination of great drama and important messages about conservation. Zaki’s family have always kept a performing bear and made money from showing her off. Zaki has two bear cubs he can train to dance but now the government is trying to stamp out the practice which is cruel to the bears and reducing the number of sloth bears surviving in the wild. Zaki decides to return his bear cubs to the wild but it isn’t possible for the young bears to manage on their own in the wild. A touching story about the relationship between a boy and his bear cubs.


Walking the Bear by Nicola Davies

Aashiq lives in northern India. His father mistreats his wife and children and the family's dancing bears - an old female and the two new cubs who are to replace her. Aashiq wants all the bears to be free. With the help of his mother and sister, the old bear is taken to a sanctuary for retired bears while Aashiq runs away to the forest with the cubs. There he spends months teaching them how to survive in the wild. When he returns to his family, he finds his father's cruel rule has finally been overturned. His mother has a new way of making a living - and Aashiq and his sister can go to school at last.

Nicola Davies has visited all the countries she writes about - and information about real conservation projects is included at the back of each book. These books focus on children who live in countries where wild animals pose a threat, and on the solutions that will affect their lives and their future.

Click on the links below to download extracts of Nicola's other titles featuring wild animals in their native habitats..

The Lion Who Stole My Arm

The Elephant Road

Manatee Baby

It features beautiful black and white mixed media illustrations by Annabel Wright.

About the Author

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies - As a child

Nicola says: I don't remember a time when I wasn't utterly besotted with animals. I spent all my time before I went to school, in the garden with my lovely Grandpa (who was small and round and had all sorts of things in his cardigan pockets) looking at flowers, and ants and bird's nests. My parents moved around quite a lot so I was always the new girl in school, which meant I spent a lot of time on my own reading and thinking... still my two favourite recreational activities. What finally saved me at school was that I learnt to make people laugh. But I was still mostly by myself, alone, out in the fields in Suffolk where my parents then lived, walking my dog and listening to the skylarks.

As an adult

I did a zoology degree and went on to study various animals in the wild; bats, geese, whales... Then I went to work at the BBC Natural History Unit, first as a researcher and later a presenter on 'The Really Wild Show'. TV was fun for a while, but I really hated the pressure. The good thing about it was that it allowed me to earn money, and still have time for my kids when they were little. I've loved being a mum, absolutely adored it. Some of my happiest memories are of reading my kids books I loved as a child - books like the Lord of the Rings. I can still make my daughter squeal by doing my 'Gollum' voice!

As an artist

I wanted to write from about the age of twenty, and I wrote scenes and characters in my head all the time. But never put anything on paper. I would go into bookshops and see all those books and think, there's just too many and I'm not clever enough to do yet another one. So I didn't start writing until my thirties, when I began to write scripts for kids' programmes. I gradually got more confidence and started to write for Walker Books, then for newspapers and magazines and then adult novels. I've just started to write poetry for children too. I'm terribly disciplined about my writing. I just sit down at my desk and get on with it every day I have, and get really cross about being distracted. I also teach writing at a university now and sometimes I get really cross with that too, because it keeps me from getting as much writing done as I would like. I love children's films and cartoons... Lilo and Stitch is my favourite at the moment. I cry every time in Babe when the pig says to the sheepdog, 'Can I call you Mum?'

Things you didn't know about Nicola Davies

1. If I were rich, I would fill my whole house with flowers all the time.

2. I have a sister who looks and sounds just like me.

3. I love singing and I know lots of folk songs (some with rather rude words!)

4. My children are always telling me off for saying sorry all the time.

5. I used to study whales in Newfoundland, dressed in nothing but wellies (only on hot days)

6. I used to keep Shetland sheep which I sheared using a pair of kitchen scissors.

7. I'm expert at wringing chickens necks (but I suppose you didn't really want to know that!)

Please note there are two children's authors called Nicola Davies which our systems are unable to tell apart. The books Star in the Custard, Shampoo and Seawater, and Stories from Abergele Street are not written by this Nicola Davies. Apologies.

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Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: From 8


Nicola Davies
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st August 2013




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